In a vital dialogue held in Jakarta last Thursday, Senator Tammy Duckworth from Illinois emphasized that the mission of ASEAN’s special envoy on Myanmar should persist, transcending the current Indonesian chairmanship that is slated to end next year.
As the structure of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) dictates, Laos will assume the chair next year. Traditionally, the foreign minister of the chair country is assigned as the special envoy for Myanmar, in alignment with the well-established procedure.
Indonesia has been instrumental this year in instituting the office of the ASEAN special envoy on Myanmar, an initiative helmed by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi. It stands as a symbol of ASEAN’s concentrated effort to tackle the deteriorating situation in Myanmar.
The U.S. Senator, one of the observer representatives at the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly (AIPA), made her journey to Jakarta with a keen interest in addressing the Myanmar crisis. Through discussions with delegates from various ASEAN and observer nations, she has solidified her stance on the need for steadfast support.
The commitment to assist the people of Myanmar, who are suffering under the prolonged crisis, was unanimous at the 44th AIPA General Assembly in Jakarta on Wednesday, August 9. ASEAN and observer nations pledged to provide necessary humanitarian aid.
In her speech, Senator Duckworth commended Indonesia’s robust leadership, urging the country to carry on the vital special envoy office beyond its tenure as ASEAN chair. “Your leadership is a focal point for all to rally around, and I sincerely hope that this mission continues even after your years as chair,” she remarked.
Acknowledging the departure of the special representative I Gede Ngurah Swajaya as the ambassador to Switzerland, Duckworth implored Indonesia to designate a successor for the crucial position.
The conversation was not devoid of the Senator’s concerns regarding human rights abuses in Myanmar. She spoke vehemently about the critical condition of various communities, focusing on women, girls, and the Rohingyas who are facing atrocities on religious grounds.
“I hope that you continue to take a leadership role in that effort,” she concluded, leaving a resounding message about the responsibility and the dire need for unwavering commitment.
Source: Antara news.